Tim Ferguson/The Cousin Lovers
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Tim Ferguson/The Cousin Lovers

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF | AFTRA

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF | AFTRA
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Bluegrass


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Cousin Lovers"

MATERIAL:Describing the Cousin Lovers' style of music is not easy. You almost have to experience them live to really grasp the concept. The Lovers are an alternative country, bluegrass band that carry influences from Americana to hard rock, with elements of Devo, the Talking Heads and even the Sex Pistols. A crowd favorite is an original "Horseplayers," where all five members sing harmonies that are heavenly.
MUSICIANSHIP:The players in this group are masters of their craft. Bandleader Ferguson sings and plays mandolin like a madman. His melodies are intricate and in perfect unison with Thomas guitar as well as Nicholson's stand-up bass. Stuart Johnson plays just a tom, high-hat and cowbell, but punches out lighting fast rhythmical beats. Fiddle player Julie Pusch gives the Lovers their Celtic flavor to the vibe.
PERFORMANCE: The set opened with an energetic Devo remake,"Timing X", and the pace never faltered from there. The Lovers performed songs back to back with equal fervor. Ferguson got everyone's attention with his Chris Isaak-like charm, and early 20th century English aristocrat outfit. Equally commanding was drummer Johnson, whose wide smile never faded. He projected so much energy, it seemed as if he would fly off his stool at any moment. This act delivered an incredibly tight, energetic and enjoyable performance that left the audience wanting more.
SUMMARY: While the Cousin Lovers are gaing momentum and have already headlined the House of Blues and performed with the late Johnny Cash, they have yet to play outside of LA. The next logical step for this multi-talented group is to hit the road and spread their unique musical experience to as many people as possible. There is a world full of fans out there ready to discover them. - Music Connection

"Cousin Lovers"

The opening tract on "Your Therefore Experience" begins with a line that addresses an unexamined fear in the world of country music; the fear of sounding like Pavement, indie-rock superstars.
Los Angeles band the Cousin Lovers, like those frisky Pavement boys are quite clever lyrically, but musically there is nothing lo-fi going on here. The band performs a raucous mix of bluegrass, traditional country and rock. Tim Ferguson vocals are a perfect fit for the humor and heart that fills these songs.
The three live tracks "That's Why God Made You", 'Brummy & Highball', and 'Night of the Hunter' have enough high speed jammin' to turn Charlie Daniels wild again. But the Cousin Lovers also succeed with slow songs such as the funny/sad "Waltz" and "Here's to the Horseplayers", a song that the late gutter poet Charles Bukowski would have certainly appreciated.
On the final tract, the haunting and beautiful "13 Stars", the band members put down their instruments in favor of some a cappella harmonizing that's as powerful and sizzling as any of their most ferocious picking.
- No Depression

"The Cousin Lovers"

With a name like that, you know there's a certain irreverence about this band. It also helps explain their peculiar musical styles. Witness their electric bluegrass versions of disco classics from Saturday Night Fever and you'll understand what we mean. Such campy are a scant portion of the picture, however. The
Cousin Lovers understand how the crowd pleasing a little over the top weirdness can be, but they never let the schtick overwhelm them. Their cartload of self-penned material is mostly serious stuff and still displays plenty of originality. The Lovers appeal to both hipster and hillbilly alike. Yet they don't really fit into any easily marketable category. Bluegrass, a genre that's not known for its hit making potential, is their foundation. The influence of early rock'n'roll and George Jones-style balladry can be heard as well. Played with unexpected ferocity, punk is in the power not the sound. Sometimes the band's fiddling and mandolin playing reach such a lighting-quick fever pitch that you'd think the musicians had sticks of dynamite strapped to their asses. While it's clear that they know and respect the musical traditions they're mining, this isn't music to listen to while sitting on the front porch in the Ozarks, folks. It's not quiet or quaint, and while you could do-se-do to it, you could rock'n'roll to it, too. And rest assured none of the Cousin Lovers look like they belong in the cast of Deliverance. - New Times L.A.

"The Cousin Lovers"

Although they hail from Los Angeles, the members of The Cousin Lovers arrived in L.A. from all corners of the U.S. Led by songwriter/vocalist Tim Ferguson , The Cousin Lovers have released a strong debut. The music transports the listener to a back porch in Appalachia for a country/bluegrass jam session, although the bluegrass may be more properly called "alt-bluegrass." Aside from the better known greats such as Ricky Skaggs, Union Station,et al., The Cousin Lovers play some of the best bluegrass put to record in some time. Highlighted by great fiddle work and mandolin playing the album features great multipart vocal harmonies. However the best tracks are the two instrumentals, "Penetration" and "Brummy & Highball," the latter a live track. On these tunes, the band really get a chance to display their musical prowess. Both are intoxicatingly energetic, causing listeners to clap and stomp their feet along as they share the joyous experience that the musician must be feeling. - Country Standard Times

"The Cousin Lovers"

"Watching a Cousin Lovers performance is akin to what it must have been like to catch rising young stars like the Beatles
at the Cavern Club or Jimi Hendrix in Greenwitch Village. There is an excitment in the air...an excitment that you, as an audience member, have discovered a very special secret. Their sound is as tight and flawless as their stage presence is exciting and fresh. And their energy is the most dynamic thing you're likely to see outside of a lighting bolt during a hurricane.
A special secret? Not anymore." - Venice Magazine

"The Cousin Lovers"

The singer had one of the prettiest and strongest country twangs this side of
George Jones - San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Cousin Lovers Fiddle a Hip Hillbilly Tune"

"Swingers II: The Hoedown Years?
Don't be too surprised if hip watering holes around town start offering fiddles and mandolins instead of saxes and crooning-and your neighborhood lounge lizards slither out of their sharkskin and satin and into dungarees and dirndls.

Most prominent pop movements in L.A. have led directly to rediscovery of rustic roots, in that light the advent of the Cousin Lovers.

These guys are hipster hillbillies and their shtick is more Catskills than Ozarks. Ferguson effects a sort of movie-Elvis cool and the band is wont to toss in pop culture references, suck as slipping George Clinton's "Atomic Dog" into the middle of "Freeborn Man," But the several couples on the dance floor didn't miss a beat sliding from two-step to funk, so these Cousin Lovers may be on to something." - Los Angeles Times


Album: Your Therefore Experience with the Cousin Lovers
Album Available on itunes
Album: I-10 Chronicles, compilation, "That's Why God
Made You"
Album: A Gentleman at Leisure-In Progress
Album: Gone Ain't Gone, Tim Fite "I Hope Yer There" was rewrite of Doreen,
Cousin Lovers recording used

Movie: Brokeback Mountain, Vocals "Trust in Lies"
Movie: Love from Ground Zero "Highway 78"
Movie: Dogtown, "Night of the Hunter", "Waltz"
Trailer: Dogtown, "Waltz", Cable Channels
Live recording: House of Blues, Los Angeles, CA
Live recordings: The Mint, Los Angeles, CA

Headlined: House o Blues, Los Angeles CA
Opened: House of Blues. Los Angeles, CA, for the late Johnny Cash
Opened: House Of Blues, Los Angeles, CA, for George Jones

Performed: Sandra Bullock Wedding
Performed Live: "Doreen" KNBC 11 O'Clock News

Composed, Wrote and Performed Music for BBC 28-Part Series "Escape to the Sun"
Composed, Wrote, and Performed Music for BBC Special for 80th Birthday for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll

ISSA 2008 Songwriting Contest, Honorable Mention
Unisong 12th Annual Contest, Top 20 Performance Category, "Phantom Limb"
ISSA 2009 Songwriting Contest, Nominee Country Category, "Here's To The Horseplayers"
ISSA 2009 Songwriting Contest, Honorable Mention Rock Category, "Doreen"
ISSA 2009 Christian Songwriting Contest, Honorable Mention Gospel Category, "Serpent In The Garden"
Gary Allen's Best Song in the World Contest Winner, Winter 2010, "Here's To The Horseplayers"
10th Independent Music Awards Nominee, Instrumental Category,"Penetration"



The Cousin Lovers have been warping the hearts and minds of Los Angeles, one honky-tonk at a time. Grounded in a rock-deep foundation of traditional American music, and steeped in its members' Southern and rural roots, this band nevertheless expands the boundaries of what a three-minute pop song can --and should-- sound like.

No one captures the punk possibilities of a bluegrass instrumental like the Cousin Lovers. Their humor, force, drive, and instrumental virtuosity sometimes overshadow their tender, wistful side. Ferguson's lyrics capture, a Southern diaspora lost in noir and Bukowski bars, inhabiting some sort of vanished Bunker Hill of the mind. While, again, the handle "Cousin Lovers" might lead one to expect humor of the Elvis-UFOs-'n-trailer-parks variety, Ferguson (a Georgia native) instead has wit. Their sad and funny "Waltz" seems as if Gram Parsons' "Sin City" were somehow given a rewrite by Morrissey. "The Hopeful MassĂ̠" manages to mash-up Pavement lyrics, pool-shark slang, and Ralph Stanley into a coherent, beautiful whole. And that's just in the first verse. "The DECLINE AND FALL, In Which Women-Folk Are Overly Dramatic" rebuffs a borderline-bipolar gal by mockingly casting her in a sort of spooky, swampy antebellum dream-movie, where she is alternately Bette Davis in Jezebel and Dickens' Miss Haversham. If you listen closely, you will also hear in this song little Easter eggs of musical quotes, including --I swear to God-- both Bernard Herrmann and Arctic Monkeys.

Intellectual stuff. Intricate, delicate stuff, the kind that could easily fall apart. But what holds it together is the band's prowess and chemistry. Guitarist Dean Thomas plays with such fire and deep Southern authenticity (he's originally from Kentucky), that the sophisticated, even bizarre, limbs he sometimes goes out on never seem to break. A solo of his is often so steaming with hillbilly brimstone that even the best guitarists might not notice that half of it was in a freakish auxiliary augmented scale made entirely of whole steps. Julie Pusch's fiddle playing is lush and dramatic, and reflects her extensive classical training. But when the Cousin Lovers enter their aggressive, testosterone-soaked displays of musical one-upmanship, her raw and blistering solos tend to dispatch any image one might have of her as some pretty, shy conservatory dork. Tim Ferguson's mandolin style veers between Hubert Sumlin, Tiny Moore, Django Reinhardt, and Bill Monroe (albeit Bill Monroe on meth) so seamlessly it takes a while to digest the scope of it. When he "gets on that fast train," as Bill Monroe used to call it, his right hand is literally a blur.
But most arresting are their vocals. The Cousin Lovers seem to be in conscious rebellion against other indie-country (and indie-anything) bands, a frightening number of whom apparently regard bad singing as a badge of honor. At some point somebody decided that people who want to sing well belonged on American Idol, while people who have an artistic point of view should never get caught singing particularly hard. The Cousin Lovers refute this emphatically and beautifully. They use the range and power of their voices to deepen meaning rather than cover up triteness, which is of course as God intended it.

And this is what ultimately makes the Cousin Lovers special and worthwhile. Beneath all the genre-twisting and mind-bending there is a deep core of passion and, dare we think it, sincerity. It is no longer anything shocking to see an ostensibly bluegrass band playing Devo covers (although it probably was when the Cousin Lovers started doing it in the mid-Nineties). But consider this: it is one thing to see a bluegrass band doing a cover of M.I.A.'s "Galang." It is quite another to see a band with the depth and range of the Cousin Lovers doing it, and to behold Tim Ferguson, drenched in sweat and lost in song, delivering "Galang" with more feeling and urgency than M.I.A. herself. Don't let the name fool you. They mean it.

"These hipster hillbillies may be on to something." -- Los Angeles Times

Band Members